03rd Apr2014

I Can’t Sing – Theatre

by timbaros

images-144Dear Simon, you know how much I love you, you are in my thoughts 24/7 and I wouldn’t dream of living a life without you. All my love, Simon.

I Can’t Sing – a/k/a The X Factor Musical, plays like a boring love letter from Simon to himself. It starts with Simon as a young boy (the child actor who played him the night I saw it sang awful), watching television and dreaming of the day when he will be on television. Lucky for us that dream came true.
In addition to a musical that is basically all about Mr. Cowell and his creation that is the X-Factor, we get an X-Factor storyline, so two for the price of one. Honestly, I would’ve preferred neither.
Cynthia Erivo plays Chenice, a simple black girl who happens to have a great voice (at this point we can figure out how I Can’t Sing will end). She lives in a one room trailer with one electricity socket, with her uncle who happens to be in an iron lung, with another guy (it’s not too clear how he fits in with this small family) who happens to have a dog attached to his arm, and they all happily live underneath a motorway, (really, I’m not making this up!). Chenice really really likes white guy Max (Alan Morrissey), and he urges her to enter a singing competition with him.
It’s so obvious at this point where I Can’t Sing  is going to take us. Chenise and Max head to the auditions – other wannabees include an overweight supermarket cashier, twins who pass exactly for Jedward, an unkempt talentless trio, and a hunchback (yes, really). Oh, don’t forget that gust of wind that blows in every once in a while (yes, I know, it sounds preposterous, but it’s true).
Chenice’s audition doesn’t go very well as a fly flies into her mouth when she starts singing. So I guess to make sure we really understand what is happening here, above her on stage is a very huge mouth with very red lips with a large fly going right into her mouth (you can’t make this stuff up!). Chenice gets three no’s.
Up to now, I Can’t Sing is ridiculous mess. But it gets unbelievably worse. The contestants sing their hearts out, though it’s crystal clear that Chenise has the best voice of the lot. And she is by far the best character on the show. The worst are the characters modelled after Cheryl Cole and Louis Walsh. Victoria Elliott as “Jordy” and Ashley Knight as Louis are just awful. Their caricatures are so overacted and so badly over the top. Jordy is a no talent who’ll do anything for Mr. Boss Cowell who tries to cop off with Chenise’s boyfriend, while Elliot’s Louis is just a plain bumbling idiot. If I were the real Louis Walsh I would sue. Nigel Harman is the unfortunate actor chosen to play Simon Cowell. All he does is stand around with his chest stuck out, wearing sunglasses and barking orders as people scurry around him while others hold their breath when he enters a room. And then we get Liam O’Deary (Simon Bailey), who’s a more loud and obnoxious Dermot O’Leary.
As the “competition” winds down, Chenise is disqualified over claims that she stole the hunchback’s number in the auditions (she did). But it’s all a happy ending as Chenice does get to win the love of Sam and we all have a happy ending as we see Simon leave the stage in a spaceship (yes! really! I’m not making it up)!
I Can’t Sing is, of course, a musical parody, or a parody of a television show and it’s svengali, so it’s not supposed to be looked at, or compared to, an actual West End Musical. And we all know a bit about the humor of Harry Hill (who wrote the book and lyrics), whether you like it or not. But what is thrown at you on stage is a mish mash of the most insane rubbish that I have ever witnessed on a stage, it’s so so bad that it’s not even good. Lots of money was put into the  show, with flying couches, a realistic-looking check out line, the aforementioned flying saucer, but absolutely no thought was put into making this show a good night out. It’s not a good night out, not even if you’re an X Factor fan. It’s a big NO from me.


6 Responses to “I Can’t Sing – Theatre”

  • Check out Simon Cowell Wonder dog and ruff mix on You Tube. Ruff Mix was a tune from about 1982 pruduced by Simon Cowell and Tim, if you think this show was cringe worthy the you tube clips will make your toes curl. Great review of a show to steer clear of. Jim.

  • timbaros

    Thanks for your comment!!

  • timbaros

    Thanks for your comment! How are you? Tim

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